Residential Property Damage from Feral Hogs

Residential Property Damage from Feral Hogs

What are Feral or Wild Hogs?

Amongst the list of creatures that cause the most destruction to property in America, wild pigs or feral hogs score quite high. Recent statistics show that of the approximately 5 million wild boars in the U.S.A, over 1.5 million of these are found in Texas. The destruction in the country caused by these razorbacks amounts to over 2.5 billion dollars and a huge portion of this is accounted to the state of Texas.

Currently prevalent in around 39 states, these wild pigs are a health menace and have been destroying acres of recreational areas, state parks, golf courses, and residential property. They are an invasive species and cause widespread damage to land and crops. They pose a threat to the indigenous wildlife in the areas they thrive in and reproduce at a very quick pace. A single wild pig is known to produce two litters comprising between four to eight little boars within a span of a year to 15 months. While these powerful creatures don’t usually attack humans without provocation, they could be aggressive if they feel cornered or protective of their litter. Their diet consists of grubs, roots, insects, and eggs. They have been known to sometimes attack and feast on tiny animals like the babies of goats and sheep.

Signs of Damage Caused by Feral Hogs

A sounder is a collection of wild pigs. Their tracks are distinguishable from the round and wide hoof print. Let’s discuss below the major signs of feral pig activity and damage.

Wallowing

Wild hogs like to dig up the muddy area next to water bodies, streams, ponds, and creeks, and then roll around in it. This wallowing helps them keep cool and helps ease insect bites on their bodies. Hoof marks, hair strands, and randomly dug-up mud along water sources are a giveaway to their presence in the area.

Rubbing

Once they’ve had a good wallow in the muddy pools, the feral hogs rub themselves against trees, poles, and rocks in order to rid themselves of any ticks or itches. This rubbing can lead to muddy spots and strands of hair on their self-claimed scratching posts, which is another dead giveaway of their presence.

Rooting

Feral hogs have a well-developed sense of smell, and as soon as they sense a food source underground they begin to ‘root’ or randomly shovel through the soil. This could cause widespread destruction if a pack of hogs attack the area together.

Types of Damage Caused by Feral Hogs

Damage to property, crops, and indigenous wildlife

When wild hogs root for food sources underground it often ends up destroying crops and rendering the agricultural land difficult to work on. It also fosters a dangerous situation for farm animals and farm machinery to be used on the land. They not only attack agricultural land but also wreak havoc in parks, golf courses, and residential property gardens and lawns. These feral pigs can harm indigenous plants and animals by attacking their food sources, destroying their habitats, and often eating the eggs and young ones of some endangered species such as sea turtles. They can destroy a plot of land in a single night and their activity can lead to soil erosion in the long term.

Contamination of running water

When feral pigs wallow about near water bodies they could leave behind trails of muddy waste. This waste could be the source of parasites and bacteria which can ruin the entire water source.

Spread of various diseases

Some of the diseases these pigs can carry include foot-and-mouth disease, bubonic plague, swine brucellosis, and intestinal worms. These diseases and parasites can spread to wildlife, livestock, and even humans living in the area through the water supply in the surrounding neighborhood.

Ways to Control the Feral Hog Population

Feral hogs are smart, quick, adaptable, and reproduce at a rapid pace. There is no single, comprehensive state-wide plan in place to effectively deal with the issue and many people have gathered together in their areas to try and control the population of these pigs through local means.

Hunting and eating the wild pigs

While it is legal to hunt this species from the ground with a license, the wild pigs are quick to run and hide in the brush. Many hunters prefer to use helicopters which make it easier to spot and target sounders. Wild boar meat has been sold in the past to various foreign markets including Asia and parts of Europe. However, locals are now realizing the dual benefit of having the nutritious meal themselves as well as the financial incentive to control the species.

Using various hog trapping techniques

As technology advances, various traps including electronic doors, corral traps, and wireless monitoring systems have all been used to control the wild hog population.

Using chemicals

This method of hog removal has been a source of controversy as it could lead to the potential contamination of water sources.

Working in tandem with neighbors

The damage being caused by sounders could vary from one region to another. Drawing up a plan based on discussion with your neighbors can help choose the best solution to control the wild hog population. You can get the general idea of the strength of the sounder you are dealing with and their movement in the local area. The various ways to control the damage they cause include the use of protective fencing, eliminating food sources on the surrounding land, hunting, and using various traps.

Need help with a feral hog invasion? Give us a call to understand how we can assist you with hog removal today.

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